Weight Gain for Health: What You Need to Know| October 07, 2021
You will see several platforms where people are often searching for ways to lose weight and be lean. If you are underweight, you might not be as conscious as obese folks. However, being skinny is also troublesome. From 1975 to 2016, the prevalence of being underweight increased by around 8% or more¹. According to this study, you need to be equally conscious if you are underweight. Being underweight makes your body weaker and prone to diseases.
People will judge you depending on your size, whether you are overweight or underweight. Being judged has no bearing on whether or not you need to acquire weight. In the end, all that matters is good health. If your weight is harming your health, only then do you need to put on some weight. Remember that perfection does not lie in appearance; it lies in being healthy.
What Affects you the most?
One of the important determinants affecting your habits is social media. It has a powerful influence on shaping your aims and living standards. Gradually and unconsciously, you start comparing yourself with celebrities and influencers, envying them, and hoping to be like them.
The problem lies within your perception and usage. Labeling any platform as a boon or bane depends on your usage of the platform. There are two categories of people. One which reaches out to the positive side of the media that educates you about millions of health risks and preventive strategies. On the contrary, the darker side depresses you out by implementing comparisons. You cannot walk into someone else's shoes, so fulfill the health standards and stay happy.
To do so, you need to learn to be happy the way you are and trying to be better daily. The struggle must not bring your self-esteem down but should make you stronger. Invest in the positive side of social media more often.
How to Know If You Need to Put on Weight
You might now be confused that if you need to work on your weight or not. In this article, you'll find help for those who are struggling.
Use Body Mass Index (BMI) as your Guide
To proceed, you must have adequate knowledge regarding BMI. It is one of the most common and accessible methods to monitor your ideal weight or weight range.
What is BMI?
BMI is a scale that helps you guide through the relationship between your weight and height. The scale offers recommendations for maintaining a healthy weight. You might compare your weight with a relatively taller friend, which is not a great idea.
Remember that you are unique, and your body needs separate measurements to check if your weight is ideal or not. BMI provides the solution. It helps to calculate the percentage of your body fat relative to your weight and height.
It does not solely tell you about the fat percentage but also the possibility of your body catching diseases. BMI classifies people into three categories that are,
- Severely underweight
You are labeled severely underweight if your BMI is lower than 16.5 kg/m².
If you have a BMI lower than 18.5 kg/m².
- Normal weight
In case you have a BMI between 18.5 to 24.9 kg/m².
If your BMI is between 25 and 29.9 kg/m².
Obesity is the other edge of the scale where your BMI exceeds 30².
These classifications also guide you about what to do next.
When Being Skinny Makes You Ill
Several studies have revealed that young girls are obsessed with getting skinny. People like you opt for an unhealthy diet and lose weight to the extent where their BMI drops severely underweight³. Some health specialist concurs that being underweight weaken your immune system. Your immune system is the main source of your body's defense.
Your body will ultimately lose the capability to defend against infections and inflammation in case of a weakened immune system. It means that a simple curable illness may prove fatal for you.
Studies in Japan have reported that girls' new belief is being skinny is being strong³. Misconceptions like these can derange your health. It is why people should consult a nutritionist rather than heading vaguely in the journey of weight loss. A nutritionist will guide you on what health standards you should follow.
To prevent health risks, you should learn the dos and don'ts. Restricting diet too much can make you nutrition deficient. It further leads to problems like hair loss, fatigue, and strength deficits. When you are at a BMI less than 18.5, you are automatically prone to conditions like osteoporosis, pregnancy issues, and many more ⁴.
Another study depicted the difference in the lifestyles between girls who wanted to remain thin vs. those who did not. Investigators observed a better eating habit in the former group⁵.
If You Are Missing on Periods or Menstrual Disruptions
Studies cannot deny that but being skinny may also lead to similar issues. Your body demands a balanced environment in which every system is working in harmony. You may not be aware but being extremely thin can disrupt your reproductive health.
Menstrual imbalance can be problematic. The major factors likely to cause menstrual irregularities are lifestyle, medicinal side effects, or cognitive health. The lifestyle factors include nutritional deficiencies⁶. Improper nutrition delays your menarche, especially if your BMI is low, and leads to painful periods. Several other studies have depicted that being underweight may also lead to longer menstrual cycles⁷.
If you or your daughter is facing a similar problem, immediately report to your health specialist. It is an alarming condition where you should be conscious of gaining weight. Relying upon a balanced diet can regain your ideal health. Self-care is not merely taking care of your appearance. It includes changing your lifestyle to a healthy one. If you succeed in achieving balance in your internal self, your external will reflect it automatically.
When you are at a stake of developing cardiac issues
You will only stop idealizing skinny and underweight after you become familiar with its deep-seated side effects. Many of you are slightly going off track. You cannot even imagine how dangerous it can be for you to remain underweight for long and restricting yourself from a healthy diet.
A proper blend of exercise, physical activity, and a balanced diet can protect you from disastrous conditions. If you are underweight and having an unhealthy diet, you may likely get heart diseases, including heart failure⁸. It can be predicted if you have started getting out of breath on slight movement, palpitations, or chest pain. If you are experiencing these conditions, immediately stop your unhealthy routine and fix an appointment with your physician. Taking immediate measures and gaining weight to normal can bring you back to life.
When Your Pregnancy Is at Stake
You have already seen that how poor nutrition can drastically influence your periods. The same way it can impact your pregnancy. If you are a woman, you need to take adequate care of your reproductive health, or you will have to face the consequences. Pregnancy is among the foremost and most sensitive aspects of your life.
Both mother and baby are at a stake of serious ailments if the mother is nutritionally deficient. Conditions like premature delivery and blood deficiency are associated with the mother being underweight. Other complications like diabetes mellitus and hypertension (high blood pressure) are also highly associated. These conditions may prove lethal for the newborn⁹.
Thus, if you are about to conceive, you must have an adequate check on your weight. If you observe any disturbing signs or weight loss, consult your doctor and have a plan to gain weight. During pregnancy, your body has to feed two bodies at once. So, your diet must contain all essential vitamins and minerals for normal functioning.
Frequent Episodes of Lassitude
Underweight young people can experience daytime sleepiness. It pans out to the lack of productivity observed in school-going children. Studies have also shown that being underweight affects your bone density, thus increasing the risk of osteoporosis in the early stages of life¹⁰.
Frequent lassitude or rapid fatigue are some other signs. Children born with low body weight are more likely to have these conditions. Whenever your child exhibits such symptoms, it's important to pay attention to their diet.
When your body is deficient in essential nutrients, it may lead to dry and dull skin and other signs of dehydration¹¹.
These were some of the indications of gaining weight. If you are extremely underweight and have started experiencing any or a combination of the aforementioned health risks, your health is at the chance. It is a famous saying that prevention is better than cure. Be strong enough to prevent any serious health hazards by starting to gain weight.
A Healthier Approach to Gain Weight
You might now wonder that how you can gain weight by opting for a healthier pathway. Some tips are given next so that you must not proceed with any shortcut that may further impair your health.
Take Frequent Meals Relying on frequent meals is a healthier approach when it comes to gaining weight. Some of you might have assumed that having one or two heavy meals may be a better option. But it is contrary to the fact. Eating around six meals a day is the best option whether you want to gain or lose weight¹².
Be Keen When Selecting Your Foods.
Why is it essential to select your foods closely? Because what matters is the composition of your food. Select foods that have high nutritious values rather than highly processed foods. People may misinterpret that if they have to gain weight, they should opt more for junk foods.
The fact is somewhat else. Natural foods that have high nutritious value include,
- Whole-grain foods like bread and cereals.
- Fruits and vegetables.
- Proteinaceous foods like chicken and fish
- Dry fruits and seeds
The best thing about gaining food is you can treat yourself very often. It, however, does not mean that you treat yourself to unhealthy food. Instead, pick healthier options. Regular sugar intake may harm your body and slow the natural process of gaining weight. It will increase the percentage of your body fat rather than improving the whole composition in the right proportion.
You might be among those wondering that workouts and exercises are for the obese. However, exercise makes you stronger and healthier¹³, which is your ultimate goal. Do exercises for at least 4 to 5 days a week. Include different types of exercises including,
- Aerobics: aerobics include full-body movement and increases your endurance. If you become out of breath occasionally, aerobics can help you regain your optimal capacity.
- Resistance training: these include weights. Weight training assists in increasing the muscle mass of your body, thus toning and shaping it to perfection.
- Warm-ups and Cooldowns are a must: you must not forget that your body needs to prepare itself for a change. A sudden deviation from your norm may be demanding. Gradually climb the ladder of high-intensity exercises. As you would be familiar with this quote, saying that slow and steady wins the race. So, you prefer to be a slow turtle rather than an over-speedy rabbit who harms himself. Warm-up increases the heat adaptation of your body before exercise, while cooldown helps prevent the pooling of blood.
- Stay Hydrated: drinking water detoxifies your body and makes you fitter. It also increases your metabolic rate and increases your appetite. You should consume around 2 to 3 liters of water a day, varying on your body eight.
- Snack on healthier options: replace processed foods with raw ones, including nuts and fruits.
The Bottom Line
Some of you might be silently struggling with being skinny and weak. This article has briefed all the information you need to know on when to start gaining your weight. If you perceive that your body starts to gain weight, consult a nutritionist for proper guidelines if you want. Start working on yourself right away and see the difference by staying consistent. Good Luck!
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